First Person: I’d Sell My Home Even Though It’s Not for Sale

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About 10 years ago, I was living in a Florida townhome when the housing market was just entering a major boom period. I didn't have a for-sale sign on my door, but that didn't stop local Realtors from knocking on my door and asking if I'd be willing to sell. At that time, housing inventory was low because everyone was buying up homes and trying to flip them for a profit. I was reminded of that situation when I read an article recently by The Street, "Your House is for Sale, You Just Don't Know it Yet." It's not unusual for Realtors to be assertive about finding a home for a client even if they home they want isn't even on the market.

Having a motivated buyer

The main reason I'd consider selling my home even though it's not for sale is because I'd be working with a motivated buyer. One of my neighbors in the town home community ended up selling her townhome to a person who knocked on her door. The buyer was particularly interested in her unit because of its location. My neighbor had only lived in the townhome for two years. She said selling the home at a profit of about $30,000 made her feel as though she had lived rent-free for a year.

Paying above the appraised value

Oftentimes, people who are willing to buy a home that's not even on the market have cash to make the purchase. In those cases, the appraised value becomes less relevant. An appraisal is more important when a lender becomes involved because they won't give a person a loan, typically, for more than the assessed value. Since the housing crash, the value of my home plummeted from a high of $220,000 to a more recent value of $135,000. Selling our home for what we purchased it for would give us enough money for a new down payment and closing costs on a new house.

Buying a home that's not for sale

Just as I could see myself selling my home, I could also envision buying my dream home that's not currently on the market. With Zillow.com, I can check out different properties across the country. I could purchase my childhood home if the current owner was willing to sell it to me. By researching real estate online, I'm able to get an idea of how much it would cost to pay the property taxes in another state. In the case of my childhood home, the property taxes would be prohibitive.

Although experts say the housing market is recovering, there is still a major shortage of inventory. It makes sense that Realtors have to be more aggressive to find their clients homes they wish to purchase. It's true a lot of people are reluctant to put their homes on the market because they are afraid they won't get enough to pay off their mortgage. We were underwater on our own mortgage for several years. Now it seems that we could list our home without any worries. However, we might just wait for an unsolicited offer.

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More from this contributor:

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Lessons From a Housing Flip

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